Musicians’ Appeals Policy 

Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter are committed to providing a high-quality service to every musician who applies to us. We want to ensure that you feel your application has been fairly considered and so we provide a right of appeal around every decision we make with regards to: 

  1. Eligibility decisions; your eligibility to use our services 
  2. Application decisions; whether we can provide the service or support you have applied for. 

This appeals policy and procedure is for people who have applied to Help Musicians or Music Minds Matter for any service or support. 

Making an appeal will not affect, in any way, the level of service you receive from us or the chances of using our services in the future. 

If your appeal is not suitable for our process, we will still carefully consider the points you have raised. Our Director of Services and Research will explain to you why your appeal will not be progressed under this policy. 

Making an appeal 

If you want to appeal an eligibility decision or application decision, we have a defined process to follow if you think that we have: 

  • Decided you are not eligible when you believe you are because we have not correctly applied our published eligibility criteria to your case, or we have not correctly understood or considered the information provided in your application; or 
  • Decided to not provide the support you have applied for even if you are eligible because we have not fully understood or considered the information provided in your application and therefore not given you fair consideration 

We also have a Musicians’ Complaint Policy if you wish to raise issues with our eligibility criteria, if you’re not happy with how you were treated during the application process, or if you feel you weren‘t adequately supported during the process. 

Requesting feedback 

We want every musician who applies to us to be given the best support possible and have carefully considered whether to offer feedback on our decisions as a routine service to every applicant. 

Our charity assesses thousands of applications every year, so providing feedback to every applicant would take away from providing services to the musicians we can support. Therefore we don’t proactively offer detailed feedback about why we have declined an application. 

However, we will always provide a reason for not being able to approve a Health and Welfare application, and applicants who reach the final round of our Career Development services are offered a feedback call with one of our team. 

We believe each musician should have the right to request feedback, if they feel we have made an incorrect or unfair decision. This can be requested under our appeals process and you can request feedback before you make an appeal to understand more about our decisions before you decide whether to do so. 

The following feedback can be requested: 

  • Eligibility decisions:
    You can request a 121 call with one of our Engagement Officers who will talk you through our Eligibility Criteria and what we considered when deciding if you were eligible at this time. They cannot change the decision but, if after the call you would like to make an appeal, you can do so following the process in this policy. If the Engagement Officer believes it could be useful for you to submit clarifying information within your application, they will tell you. 
  • Health and Welfare services:
    We will always give clear reasons in our email to you stating why we can’t support you at this time. If you wish for further information, you can request a feedback call with a member of the Health and Welfare team. 
  • Career Development services:
    - We always offer a chance for a feedback call to musicians whose applications reached final shortlisting. If your application didn’t reach final shortlisting you can still request feedback, which can be provided in writing.
    - If your application didn’t meet our minimum standard, we will not be able to speak with you about your individual application but one of our team can speak to you generally about how to write a strong funding application.

How to make an appeal 

If you wish to make an appeal, please do so within 12 weeks of receiving the decision you wish to appeal. If you have requested feedback, we will count the 12 weeks from the date we provide you with feedback. 

To make an appeal email complaints@​helpmusicians.​org.​uk with the following information: 

  • The application reference number that the appeal relates to 
  • Whether the appeal is about the eligibility to apply or application decision 
  • What you believe our error is that has led you to make the appeal: for example if we have said you are not eligible for a given reason and you believe we are incorrect, please explain this; or if we have declined your application for a given reason that you think is incorrect please explain what that is 

We only consider information you have submitted in your application. Please do not provide extra information when you request your appeal — if we believe more information would help us resolve your concerns you will have an opportunity to provide it. 

What happens after submitting an appeal 

After we have received your request for an eligibility or application decision to be reviewed, we will contact you within two working days by email or post (if you have requested it) to acknowledge it and confirm: 

  • that we are considering your appeal 
  • if we need more information to decide if we can process your appeal request 

When we can consider your appeal 

A Senior Manager within the Services team will be asked to consider your appeal and decide whether it can be upheld or not. If it is upheld, they will then assess either your full application again or the parts you feel were not properly assessed. This can take up to ten working days. To ensure impartiality this will be a different Manager to any involved in your original application. 

If we cannot complete this process within 10 working days we will write and explain why, and when we expect to have completed the review process. 

The Senior Manager will submit a recommended outcome to your appeal to the Director of Services and Research for confirmation. This will then be shared with you. 

Appeal decisions are final and there is no process to request a further review ‑we want to support as many musicians as possible and believe reviewing an application twice (once when the application is submitted and a second time after appeal) is fair for the individual musician while allowing us to ensure the capacity to support other musicians. 

What are the outcomes from an appeal? 

There are three possible outcomes from an appeal: 

  • Appeal not upheld: your appeal does not have sufficient grounds and so we cannot review your application again. 
  • Appeal upheld and decision changed: we have reviewed your application again and changed our decision. This would usually result in either you now being eligible to apply, or an approved application 
  • Appeal upheld and decision not changed: your appeal is approved so we have considered your application again and found the original decision was correct

Making a complaint 

If you disagree with the outcome of our appeal or are not happy with the way we have handled your appeal, you will be able to request an investigation of the appeal through our Complaints Policy. If you do so, the matter will then be investigated directly by the Director of Services and Research. 

A Complaint will not automatically result in another review of your original application, however if the Director finds that the appeal process was not correctly followed, they can refer it back for further review.

Repeat appeals 

To ensure we can support as many musicians as possible, providing them with the best service, we limit the number of appeals we can consider from each applicant. We ask that you: 

  • only appeal an eligibility decision once in a 12-month period 
  • only appeal an application decision once per each service in a 12-month period 

If you make repeat appeals about eligibility or the same services within a year, we reserve the right to respectfully decline to process your appeal. However, we consider each situation independently and our priority is always to ensure musicians feel respected and supported by us.